Have you ever come across a wonder pill that can cure all kinds of diseases? Well, if not a pill, there are some foods which can help you reduce the risk of chronic diseases, extend life and also keep you lean and healthy. These are wonder foods and pack in a large number of polyphenols, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are called superfoods, and are, in fact, among the top ten foods you should eat every day.
These foods are much sought after around the world, with more and more people discovering their benefits and including them in their regular diets. Check out this list of superfoods, which pack in a huge number of nutrients to keep you fit and healthy. The next time you go grocery shopping, make sure you include at least some of these power-packed foods in your diet. Fruits, veggies, grains, you name it and we have it on this list.
The Top Ten Superfoods
We are always in pursuit of perfect health, but are we always successful in attaining it? The frenetic pace of our lifestyles, devoting less time to exercises and more time to our gadgets, sacrificing sleep and indulging in too much of junk food, take a toll on our bodies. Changing our lifestyle overnight is not possible, but what is possible is inculcating healthy habits every day, and these foods should comprise of a majority chunk of your diet. Start noting down, and remember, the more the merrier!
- Kale- It has slowly nudged away spinach from its elevated position and has firmly ensconced itself among the top superfoods in the world. Popeye certainly will have a new favorite. It is full of antioxidants, and a great source of fiber calcium and iron. You can stew, boil or have it as a salad; or also have it as a chip.
- Blueberries- These exotic looking pint-sized wonders are not to be taken at size value as they are gladiators in fighting diseases like cancer, and are full of vitamin C and fiber. They taste wonderful too! In fact, you will have to hunt down reasons for not including them into your superfoods diet plan.
- Chia seeds- Are you a vegan or worried about the fact that you are not getting enough calcium from your diet plan? Have chia seeds and we will give you enough reasons to stock up those tiny wonders into your larder! They are loaded with calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. Also, they have the highest source of plant-based fatty acids on earth. So, what are you waiting for? Sprinkle some on your morning oatmeal; which brings us to our next superfood, oatmeal.
- Oatmeal- You must be doing something right in your life, health wise, if you are including oatmeal in your diet plan. Your days need a jumpstart and oatmeal gives you just that. Its nutritional facts are pretty amazing. It is full of fiber, lowers your cholesterol, fills you up, aids in digestion and also improves your metabolism. This is one of the best superfoods for weight loss.
- Turmeric- The new superfood spice on the block. Turmeric contains a wide range of antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also loaded with protein, dietary fiber, niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. It can treat a wide variety of diseases and has shown promising evidence in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. So, try and put more turmeric in your daily meals, to get its magical benefits.
- Salmon- Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, salmon should definitely be part of your diet. Including salmon in your diet can shield your heart, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. You can bake it, grill it and have it with your veggies to make a tasty and nutritious meal.
- Green tea- You love your tea, but do you drink green tea? It is rich in antioxidants and can potentially prevent a number of cancers.
- Broccoli- Clearly your green veggies are ruling the roost in the nutrition department. Your mother was right all along when she said that you ought to eat your veggies, and broccoli sure packs a punch. It has a high dose of folate and vitamin C, making it tower over other members of the cruciferous family. It fights against certain kind of cancers, strokes and heart disease.
- Quinoa- it is pronounced as keen-wah, was a sacred grain of the Incas and provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals. This super grain seed contains a lot of protein, even more than other cereal grains (22 grams per one cup/250 milliliters uncooked quinoa) and it is a powerhouse of complete protein because it consists of all eight of the essential amino acids we need for the development of tissues.
- Goji berries- it is a Himalayan berry, which has more vitamin C than oranges and more beta-carotene than carrots. It is no wonder that these expensive berries are much sought after. Their nutritional quotient can slay the biggest of diseases like cancer, diabetes, hypertension and so on. Have it as part of your trail mix or add it to your stews and soups.
Now that we know about some of the powerful foods in the world, let us know how we should make them part of your daily diet. The recipes are more than just stews and soups, something to keep your palate guessing. So, you can include these superfoods for health and also tickle your taste-buds by making these foods a part of your diet plan.
Recipes of Superfoods
You do intend to include these super foods to your diet, but cooking elaborate meals are just not your forte! Is that what you are thinking right now? If yes, then don’t worry, because you don’t have to be a chef par excellence to crack the code of rustling up these top superfoods. These are healthy and very easy to cook as well, because we know over-cooking any food just about kills all the nutrients in it.
1. Kale Chips
Kale is a must add to your diet, but something as healthy as kale cannot be too tasty, right? Wrong! These crispy chips beg to differ; they are packed with nutrition and can be a ready substitute for those deep-fried chips you are so fond of indulging in.
- 1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
- Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. You can serve this as finger food.
2. Grilled Spicy Salmon
Salmon is the definitely one of the best foods to include in your healthy diet. Braise, fry or bake, it sure will taste delicious! This recipe is particularly spicy and is a sea change from your regular bland foods.
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil plus more
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. garam masala
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 2-lb. a center-cut piece of boneless salmon fillet, skin on
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- 3/4 cup finely chopped peeled, seeded cucumber
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- Prepare grill (medium-high heat). Take ginger, 1/4 cup oil, 1 Tbsp. garam masala, garlic, coriander, and cumin in a blender until coarse purée forms. Put salmon into a baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Coat the salmon with the ginger purée. Let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, stir yogurt, cucumber, cilantro, scallions, lime juice, and remaining 1 tsp. garam masala in a medium bowl. Season raita to taste with salt and pepper.
- Brush the grill rack with oil. Brush off marinade for easier grilling, or leave it on for a better crust. Grill salmon; flip it once until it just begins to flake in the center, 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer salmon to a platter. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with raita.
3. Spicy Oats
Oats can only be had with milk, is what most of us think. But there are other quite wonderful oats recipes, and you can definitely beat the boredom of having it the same way almost every day. Break the monotony and cook this up in a jiffy.
- Oats – 4 tbsp.
- Moong Dal – 2 spoons (Soak them in water for about 30 minutes)
- Green Peas – 1/4 Cup
- Green Chilli – 1
- Water – 2 Cups
- Salt – a small pinch (add very little salt, as Oats require less salt)
- Soak the Split Moong Dal in half cup of water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can also soak and put in the fridge overnight and wash it with water before using. Heat 2 Cups water in a skillet and add the Soaked Moong Dal and Green Peas.
- The Moong Dal gets cooked within 10-15 minutes. When it is almost cooked, add the green chili, slit at the end and add the oats to the Skillet and Cook. When the oats get cooked in 5 minutes, add salt to taste and serve hot.
4. Creamy Broccoli
Cheese just about enhances the flavor of any dish, and this recipe is no different. Many of you who may not be very fond of broccoli, can easily take to this recipe, as the cheese lends a distinct flavor to this dish. Baked to perfection, this is how you can eat broccoli and enjoy it too.
- 500 gm broccoli florets
- 250 gm cheddar cheese
- 300 ml (or) 1/2-pint milk
- 3 Tbsp plain flour or maida
- 2 slices stale white bread
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Black pepper
- 1 green chili, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Soften the florets in salted water for 7-10 minutes until they are considerably tender. Pour the milk into a pan and bring to a boil, then simmer while adding flour, and three-quarters of the cheese. Add the garlic and nutmeg to the cheese sauce mixture.
- Place the broccoli in a casserole dish, pour over the cheese sauce, then tear the bread into thumb size pieces and place on top of the broccoli and cheese mixture along with the rest of the cheese, salt, black pepper and chilli; then pour a little olive oil over the top of this to make the bread crispy.
- Bake it in the oven for 25-35 minutes until it turns golden brown on top.
- Serve it hot!
5. Quinoa with Veggies Indian Style
If you are watching your weight and avoiding gluten, you can easily include this in your diet plan. It is not regarded as world’s healthiest food for nothing; it is packed with amino acids and proteins. This recipe gives a spicy twist to the nutritious quinoa. You would have never thought quinoa can taste so good!
- 1/2 cup- quinoa
- 1/3 cup or 1 onion chopped- onion
- 2 slit green chili
- 1 Tbsp- peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup- sliced carrot and beans
- 1/2 a capsicum or 1/3 cup chopped- capsicum
- 1/4 cup or a small potato-potato
- 1 small-tomato
- 1 tsp. flat or as needed- salt
For the tempering:
- Oil -2 tbsp.
- Mustard seeds -1 tsp.
- Urad dal -1/2 tsp.
- Bengal gram -1/2 tsp. (optional)
- Red chilies -1-2
- Hing -1/4 tsp.
- Curry leaves – few
- Chop all the vegetables. Wash the quinoa well in a sieve (put it in a sieve or fine mesh strainer) under running water and set it aside. Keep all the vegetables, seasonings needed ready. It helps to prepare things better.
- Heat oil in a pan; add mustard seeds, and when they splutter, add Urad dal and Bengal gram dal.
- When the dal turns golden brown, add red chilies, hing, and curry leaves. Add chopped onions, green chili, ginger and sauté until onions turn transparent. Add all the vegetables (except capsicum and tomato), 1/3 cup of water and cook covered. Once the vegetables are 3/4 the cooked, add the capsicum and tomatoes.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and the required amount of salt.
- Taste the water to check for salt – the water should be slightly salty. Once you add the quinoa, it will be perfect. When the water starts boiling, reduce the flame and add the washed quinoa.
- Cook covered on low flame. Stir once in between. It will take around 15 minutes. Once all the water has evaporated, turn off the heat, blend well and serve it hot!
You now have a clear idea about the superfoods to include in your diet. Since your diet plays an important role in paving the path towards health and wellness, you should fix it first by eliminating all the wrong foods and replacing them with some of the superfoods mentioned here. That said, these foods alone cannot give you a nutritional makeover. You need to make these foods a part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating kale will only work if you ditch the burger and take up the dumbbells, so eat clean and exercise, and you will stay healthy for the longest period of time.